Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve written as things have been very busy here at PACE and as we’ve been preparing for the trip to Rwanda in October.
Blair and Roger made it safe and sound to Nairobi on Monday night, they were tired, understandably, but happy to be “home!” It was so good to see them! And we enjoyed an evening and half a day Tuesday in Nairobi with our friend Irungu. After a good night’s sleep, we got an early start to run a couple errands in downtown Nairobi… we had to visit the Congolese and Rwandan Embassies to get some information for the trip. Then we enjoyed a coffee at the Java House before we headed out of town and home to Nyahururu.
The guys have been settling in well. They’re learning quickly about the in’s and out’s of day to day living here. Blair even prepared breakfast this morning & dinner tonight! We spent some time in town today. And of course they’ve enjoyed reuniting with old friends and meeting many new ones!
Oh… and now, the guys are attempting to do the dishes… (Yes, I’m really enjoying the company… even more than I thought… haha).
Tomorrow we are meeting with the Head Academy Teacher at PACE, John Mathenge about a few items… one being to work out details and Roger’s schedule for teaching French classes at PACE. This is something that Mathenge has asked him to do and Roger is quite excited about this! Please pray for him as plans are laid out for these lessons he has been asked to lead… and that God would bring opportunities for Roger to minister as well as allow him to build relationships through this time.
As well, we are going to talk to him about camp next year. God has laid a vision on Mathenge’s heart about camp for next August, which he has shared with me, so I’m really looking forward to having him share it with the guys and seeing if and how we can assist in helping him move this vision forward through our short term missions efforts.
Blair has already been asked to “preach” on Sunday at a local church of a friend of ours here at PACE. He won’t be “THE” preacher… but he’s been asked to share a message from the Word, so please pray for him that God will speak words of encouragement to this church through this opportunity he has been given.
And tomorrow (Friday) night we will all be hosting a movie night for the children and youth that board at PACE school. Some of these kids are orphans, some are not… they come from many different areas and walks of life. They are an awesome group of young people! I’ve become pretty attached to them, and I know the guys will to! We had our first movie night last Friday night and the kids really appreciated and enjoyed it. We are hoping to do something with them every Friday night that we can while we are here!
As well as these evenings, I’ve tried to get back to PACE on Saturday and/or Sunday afternoons when I can to sometimes just hang out… play pool, listen to music, sing, watch more movies…
It’s been really good to get to know these “kids” and as well, Mathenge as he has such an open heart and spirit for God’s leading as he cares for these young people, beyond just their education. They are like his extended family!
The “Come Away Day, Silent Retreat” that we (Thiaru and Waweruh… directors at PACE led, with my “behind the scenes” assistance and all of our prayers.) held for the PACE staff last Saturday was a great success on many levels! Thank you to all who were praying for the day and for the hearts of these people to be open to spending a significant amount of time practicing the disciplines of extended time of silence, solitude, prayer and meditation. God truly touched many hearts and met with many of the participants where they were at in their journey with Him. Many prayers were answered for the day, and as a result of the day. We are so encouraged and grateful to God to have had this opportunity for this day together.
As I had mentioned before, many of the staff were feeling a little anxious about so many hours not being able to talk… that is VERY countercultural here!! Especially as they were given the heads up that even lunch, which we would take together, would be shared in silence. And at the beginning of the day… Thairu (one of our co-leaders of the day) asked everyone to dig out their cells phones, hold them up, turn them off then had them each deposit the phones into a briefcase. Some were not amused… but most of them co-operated! Even with that ask stretching them (Cell phones are a life line here for everyone… even more so than at home!)… anyone that I or the two men who led the day have talked to since, have given nothing but positive reports about the time and have enthusiastically said they would appreciate an opportunity to do it again…. even on a regular basis!! Praise God!
Here are a few comments from those who participated:
– “Initially I was bored, but eventually I connected with my God.” Got to give him credit for his honesty!! 😀
– One of the gentlemen sang for 1 1/2 hours in the morning, and at least 20 minutes in the afternoon… he told us at the wrap up time that through the songs, God ministered to him.
– One fellow shared that he, for the first time, realized the power of meditation
– Another young man said God confirmed in him, and he wrote a list of values and mission of faith, and the values he would seek in his future wife.
– Still another stood up and said that he had never in his life… that he could recall… even had a 1/2 hour of time to be quiet, to relate to himself spiritually, and he is praying that God uses this to change him in many ways. He was thanking God that he had this opportunity, that he had this time alone with God and he ended by asking for forgiveness to anyone he has offended. I talked to this person a couple days later and he told me he even shared this experience with his church the next day!
– Still others shared in the group time and with me personally later on, scriptures that God led them to and really spoke to them through and some of the things He has revealed to them.
We ended the day by celebrating communion together which Wachira led. This was an idea brought forth by Thairu, the director of the Bible school here… and it was a perfect way to wrap up our day.
… and the guys gave everyone their phones back!
The two fellows, Thairu and Waweruh, who led the day, called me for an evaluation meeting yesterday and were so encouraged by the whole day. They are considering how they can perhaps offer it regularly to the staff in the future… perhaps, once every term. We will be praying that God will provide for the means for them to do this… and that these times will continue to have an impact in the lives of these people and their families and communities… and that a growing spiritual depth will be realized over time.
It was a privilege to be a part of this with our brothers and sisters here and God has even laid it on Wachira’s heart to plan and offer a silent retreat day for some of the local Pastors and missionaries that are serving in Nyahururu. We are praying that we will be able to hold this before our trip to Rwanda. Again, I would ask, that if God lays it on your heart, that you would please pray for direction for this new opportunity as well as to continue to pray for God to be working and moving in the people who have participated… that the things that God revealed to us would take root in our hearts and allow for transformation in our spirits that will be realized more and more in our day to day lives as we live out our faith in deeper ways. We trust that God will continue to breath new life into those who are diligently seeking to honour and glorify Him!
Boy, the time here is going quickly! Hard to believe it’s the end of September already! We are excited to continue the conversations and understand more and more how we can grow together in the Lord, in order to truly minister together, both here and at home, and as we venture into new territory, so to speak, serving our brothers and sisters in Rwanda and the Congo. We are looking forward to seeing what God has for us to do in the next few weeks and to see what doors he will open for projects to be involved in and relationships that He will allow to deepen and minister through… both in us and through us. We have been so blessed, encouraged and challenged in our time here.
Well, I will end it here for tonight. Thank you again for your prayers, support and encouragement! (And chocolate!! :D) We have been so blessed by messages from family and friends. It is just a great reminder that God is using so many to serve here… God is SO good! And he is multiplying the prayers of many, for us and our PACE family, to realize His mission here!
With that, we will say… “ la la salama.” Peace be with you tonight! May God’s peace be with you!
In Christ, and in His service and love,
Sheryl, Blair and Roger